When I began this A-Z Challenge, my mom had just died. I needed a distraction from the grief…and this challenge has been a good distracter. I’ve been able to joke around here, let my mind wonder, and take a timeout.
When a tragedy hits your life, the how to deal with it part is up to you. Everyone’s process is different and if anyone says they have a sure-fire way to get past the grief, I’d have to disagree. There’s no prescription. There’s no timeline.
After the funeral was over, I didn’t want to think about what had just happened. I kept my mind busy. Blogging 6 days a week instead of 2 or 3 added that extra level of busy that I needed. And then came yesterday…when I decided that I WAS ready to think about it, write about it…
…and to try and understand the one thing that has been haunting me these past 4 weeks. THIS:
Source: Akiane Kramarik
Allow me to rewind…to 4 weeks ago, today.
My dad phoned, saying that I needed to come home right away. When I arrived, my mom was clearly dying, in a hospital bed, in the middle of our living room. A priest was there giving Catholic Last Rights. Also in the room were hospice nurses, a social worker, and a few other people. It was a chaotic scene.
A short while later, my mom was struggling for breath. One of us grabbed her hand, started to cry hysterically, and yelled “Don’t go! We need you here! Don’t leave us!”
Her breathing calmed. She opened her eyes wide, and stayed that way for 2 1/2 days, never closing them, rarely blinking.
“What is she looking at?” we would ask.
“Oh, she’s probably not seeing anything; she might be blacked out.”
“But why doesn’t she close them for even a minute? She’s been awake only 6-8 hours a day for the past year, and now she can’t sleep at all? It doesn’t make any sense!”
“Honestly, I don’t know,” the nurse would say. “It happens sometimes.”
We’d repeat this conversation many times. My sister, dad, and I would take turns sitting up with her over those 60+ hours, feeling guilty for sleeping when she was awake.
“I think she’s looking AT something,” I said. “It doesn’t seem like she’s blacked out. She looks mesmerized. Dad…I think she’s seeing ….um…I think she’s seeing angles, or heaven, or whatever’s on the other side.”
“I don’t know,” he said. “It could be anything.”
Cut back to yesterday, Good Friday. Along with a condolence card, my friend Amy sent me the book “Heaven is for Real,” by Todd Burpo. With Easter almost here, I decided to read it.
I won’t spoil the plot, but the book is about a little boy who swears that he died went to heaven for 3 minutes while in surgery. He describes heaven, its colors, and certain set of eyes. The book includes a black and white portrait of the person with the eyes.
After reading the last page, I turned to the picture.
I saw my mom looking back at me…the eyes were HER eyes…the eyes that she had during those last 2 1/2 days. And that’s when I cried.
As strange as it may seem, I believe that my suspicion was true. She was looking at something so indescribably beautiful,that she never again wanted to be in the dark. She was ready for the place where darkness never comes.
And there you have it.
Have a Blessed Easter, everyone.